The Arab Initiative for building national capacities for combating Human Trafficking

Doha Foundation Forum

22 to 23 March 2010, Doha, Qatar

The Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking was launched during the Doha Foundation Forum 2010, a regional conference aimed at consulting and exchanging views from relevant stakeholders in the Middle East and North Africa region and building political consensus for future regional action against human trafficking.

The Arab Initiative, supported by the state of Qatar under the sponsorship of the First Lady of Qatar Sheika Mozah Bint Nasser al Missned, aims to build national capacities for the 22 Arab League States to effectively prevent and combat human trafficking. The main partners of the project are the Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking (QFCHT), the League of Arab States and UNODC.

The overall objective of the Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking is a 3 year regional capacity building programme aiming at supporting the Arab League States in:

(i) Preventing and combating human trafficking by promoting the ratification and implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children ( Trafficking in Persons Protocol),

(ii) Strengthening the institutional and human capacities of the criminal justice systems,

(iii) Improving mechanisms for the appropriate identification  referral, support, and protection of trafficked victims, and

(iv) Raising the awareness about the crime and its devastating consequences on individuals and societies at large.

The Doha Foundation Forum gathered more than 300 participants and high level public representatives from various ministries and government institutions from the Arab world as well as representatives from international organizations and non governmental organizations concerned with human trafficking. The discussions focused on regional and international efforts to combat human trafficking, the Arab States commitment to the international legal framework and development of national anti-human trafficking laws, the challenges and the impacts and the various forms of the human trafficking crime in the Arab region and best practices in the area of protection and assistance to trafficked victims.

Key among the comprehensive set of recommendations released during the Doha Forum, was the call for Arab States to ratify the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Governments of the region were also encouraged to establish specialist anti-trafficking law enforcement agencies and national funds to support trafficking victims.

For more information, visit UNODC's Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa.